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A Fine Songye Figure - Songye - Congo RDC

Lot reference 15977815
A Fine Songye Figure - Songye - Congo RDC

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20th centery

Rare Songye Figure,

Wood, raffia, animals skins

Height: 57 cm

Dutch private coll.

While the Kongo adhered to certain prescribed types according to the nature of the problem requiring the nkisi’s assistance, maintaining certain sculptural formulae, the Songye sculptor-diviner (nganga) was unrestrained by such prescriptions. Taking a certain “classic” sculptural vocabulary as a point of departure, Songye artists proceeded freely into a wide range of formal variation. A client commissioning a figure, describing the circumstances that require the intervention of the nkisi, might relay a description that inspired the form of the sculpture – perhaps from a dream or a mystical encounter with the spirit itself. Both in the design and execution of the underlying wood sculpture, and in the addition of magical accoutrements (bishimba), Songye power figures are the wildly inspired products of this mystical influence and artistic freedom.  As a result, Songye artists achieved extraordinary imaginative heights with their statuary, giving sculptural form to sophisticated allegorical concepts.

The “classic” characteristics of the Songye sculptural vocabulary include a generally columnar form; an elaborate coiffure, mimicking the regalia of a high-ranking leader, often bounded by a tiara-like hairline and sometimes surmounted by one or more animal horns; a face generally in the shape of an inverted triangle, featuring a direct, confrontational expression, large eyes and a protruding mouth; a cylindrical neck; an enlarged belly, which frequently centered upon a receptacle for magic materials located at the umbilicus; symmetrically positioned arms, bent at the elbows, with openings under the upper arms; and large powerful hands placed on either side of the abdomen.

Nl Bieder500  

Feedback score: 92.9%
Reviews given: 14
Member since: July 22, 2014
  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    snelle levering, goede kwaliteit van het geleverde. komt overeen met de beschrijving.
    aanvaardbare verpakking
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    philipsanders July 1, 2018

  • Items received thanks

    Masamba1957 June 15, 2018

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Schönes Stück gut verpackt geliefert. Danke!
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    MPOKL February 17, 2018

  • old object -as describd- fast delivery.

    nordend January 7, 2018

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Positif pour l'objet mais négatif pour la livraison. Elle a été rapide mais heureusement qu'un de mes voisins a trouvé le carton sur son palier + aucun avis de passage dans la boite aux lettres.
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    Granderue October 2, 2017

View all 14 reviews


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United States $36.97
Austria $30.81
Belgium $28.34
Canada $36.97
Denmark $30.81
France $28.34
Germany $30.81
Ireland $30.81
Italy $19.72
Luxembourg $30.81
Netherlands $19.72
Norway $30.81
Poland $30.81
Portugal $30.81
Spain $30.81
Sweden $30.81
Switzerland $30.81
United Kingdom $30.81
Rest of Europe $30.81
Anywhere else $36.97

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